Jason Corbett.

North Carolina Court Adds Time for Jason Corbett Death

Eight years after they were sentenced to life terms for the murder of Limerick man Jason Corbett, Molly Martens and her father Thomas have been sentenced by a North Carolina court to between seven and 30 additional months in jail - this after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of Mr. Corbett in August, 2015.

The two were removed from court in handcuffs in Lexington, North Carolina following an eight-day sentencing hearing, the Irish Times reported.

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Judge David Hall of the superior court of North Carolina imposed a sentence of between 51 months and a maximum of 74 months but they will receive credit for the 44 months they have already served in prison.

Martens and her father were initially jailed for 20 and 25 years respectively after being convicted of the second-degree murder of Mr. Corbett.

However, the convictions were later quashed by an appeals court which found the judge in the original trial had made errors which undermined their right to mount a defense.

On Monday of last week, as the Irish Times reported, the court approved a plea agreement with prosecutors which saw them accept a lesser charge in relation to the death of Mr. Corbett, 39.

Molly Martens did not contest a charge of voluntary manslaughter which the judge said represented a form of guilty plea. Thomas Martens pleaded guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter.

At the sentencing hearing in Lexington, North Carolina, which started on Monday, October 30, counsel for Ms. Martens and her father argued that their clients had acted in self defense when they killed Mr. Corbett in the bedroom of his home in the early hours of October 2, 2015.

Mr. Corbett had been hit by Thomas Martens with a baseball bat while Molly Martens struck her husband with a brick.

During their first trial, father and daughter had both pleaded not guilty at Davidson County Superior Court in Lexington to murder, claiming self-defense and the defense of another.

A voluntary manslaughter charge was included as a lesser charge for the jury to consider in that initial trial, but the panel instead opted for murder in the second degree.

During the trial the jury was shown the baseball bat and blood-stained garden paving brick used to inflict fatal head injuries on the Limerick father-of-two.

Father and daughter denied the second degree murder charges against them.

Mr. Corbett died at the home he shared with Ms. Martens Corbett, his second wife, at Panther Creek between Lexington and Winston-Salem. Mr. Corbett died from at least 12 severe blows to the head which had shattered his skull.

Both the father and daughter argued self-defense in that first trial and claimed that Mr. Corbett had attacked his wife and threatened to kill her. Their contention was that Mr. Martens had struck Mr. Corbett to defend himself and his daughter.

However, according to reports at the time, both accused were found by Davidson County police and paramedics to be uninjured at the scene with no bruises, cuts, abrasions or visible wounds. And pathologist Dr. Craig Nelson testified that at least one of the major blows suffered by Mr. Corbett was post mortem.